Our year so far!

We take the opportunity on the final day of Term 2 to reflect on an interesting, challenging and inspiring first semester of 2021

Special Guests

We commenced the year with our High Achievers’ Assembly, where we were privileged to welcome 2020 Dux, Greta Linehan back to address the students on her time at the College, how she was able to get the most out of her year twelve studies and the exciting journey she has ahead.

In March, we welcomed College Alumni and businesswoman extraordinaire Robbie Campo to address students on International Women’s Day, where she reflected on her time at St Aloysius and described her journey from student, to lawyer, to executive director.

Both Greta and Robbie’s speeches are featured in this year’s Winter Edition of Always Aloysius.

The Tiguidou! performance in April saw the Deputy High Commissioner of Canada to Australia, Isabelle Martin join our French students and staff for a delightfully entertaining insight into French Canadian culture performed by Sean Murphy from Mama Dojo. Term 1 also saw Senator David Van join us for the official opening of our new Senior Years Precinct, Student Entrance and Landscaped Courtyards.

Term 2 presented its own challenges with two weeks of remote learning. We are so proud of the College Community including students, their families and our staff members who took this in their stride, adapting quickly and delivering extraordinary work.

English Update

This year our English faculty has been off to a flying start, striving for higher things!

At Year 7, the students read the Australian short stories in the collection Things a Map Won’t Show You and wrote their own short story! They’ve also been busy writing and creating their own TED Talks on something they are passionate about!

At Year 8, the students began the year with their Academic 8 oral presentations on urbanisation, linking to concepts and ideas studied in Humanities and Science. They are also gearing up to start studying The Hunger Games!

At Year 9, the students have been busy writing persuasively, before delving into the classic To Kill A Mockingbird such an important text to learn about how to become a more harmonious society. 

At Year 10, students also studied disability in our society, by comparing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time to Black Balloon.

Our VCE students were exposed to a wide array of texts and text types. Year 11 students studied the classic play A Streetcar Named Desire and wrote an analytical essay. They also studied the French film The Intouchables to reflect on the idea that anything is possible!

The Year 12 students worked very hard this year and studied texts which raised a range of ideas and challenged society’s values. We have started with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice questioning the impact that class and wealth had in the Georgian era. The students were also given the opportunity to reflect on voyeurism in our society through the classic film Rear Window

Amy Masters, English Leader

Languages Update

The new year 7 cohort has dipped their toes in the Languages ocean.

With the guidance of their teachers, our students are learning their first words in Italian, Japanese and French. They are exposed to basic topics such as introducing themselves, their family, pets, colours and dates. In every class, students get to read and listen to texts and see how much they already understand, as well as speak in the language which often triggers a few giggles. The year seven students are getting more familiar with grammatical structures which helps them write texts using different scripts. Students and teachers are having a great time in class, as everyone shows a real enthusiasm and ability in learning the new tongue. If language was a cake, they would be devouring it!

One of the favourite aspects of language class is learning about the culture which is sometimes surprising and sparks wonderous conversations about how things are done differently around the world.

The language program is very dynamic. For example, Japanese club had a calligraphy competition and have watched a short movie from the Ghibli studios. The French students have participated in a Francophonie competition, researching and making a video about an African French-speaking country. An exciting day was when they were addressed by the High Commissioner of Canada about the role of French around the world, and participated in a fun, interactive show about Canada. A crêpe truck also came to school and students ordered the sweet dessert in French! Students have also played games such as Tombola in Italian club.

Students are particularly enjoying the Education Perfect platform, on which they participated in a competition. We had a few students who answered many questions right and received Silver and Bronze awards. Students have really been engaging with their languages, it has been the start of a wonderful journey.

Alizee Bourgault, Languages Leader

Science Update, Semester 1 in review

The year 7 students have been kept busy with their Launching a Mission to the Moon unit. Within this project, students have been preparing to launch their rockets using their creative skills with green screen videos, and most recently designing lunar habitats using co-spaces with virtual reality allowing viewers to go into the world they have created and explore.

The Year 8 students have been going small – so small we need microscopes! Students have looked at the cell and all its components, making miniature modules and using analogies to speak about the functions of organelles. They have been gaining experimental skills by conducting many practicals. In more recent weeks the students have been studying chemistry discovering the world of atoms and particles, identifying states and chemical reactions.

Year 9 students looked inwards at the functioning of their bodies in response to stimuli and identifying components and responses to external and internal environmental changes. They have been getting hands-on with building electric circuits both single and parallel. Further building on their knowledge of magnets, exploring the world of electromagnets and the real-world application. Ending this term, we have begun looking into the atom and its structure in preparation to beginning understanding specific chemical reactions. 

Year 10 started the year off strong in motion. Looking at what makes up speed, and its difference from acceleration. We looked at questions like “Why do we keep moving forward when the car stops abruptly?” and explored Newton’s laws of motions in “Why does the water move backward when we move forward?”. Year 10s were then asked, “What makes you, you?”, where they took a step into genetics and looked at how cells are formed, and more importantly the DNA structure. The students gained an understanding of how we use DNA and what happens when it mutates. We ended Term 3 with the commencement of our chemistry unit, looking at the history of the periodic table, and breaking down the structure to gain the understanding of reactivity using real-world examples like nuclear power plants.

Our Year 11 students have completed unit 1 and are moving onto Unit 2 having completed their exams recently, we are looking forward to continually updating you through their progress. Year 12s are completing practice examinations for Unit 3 using and gaining important skills as we work towards the close of their formal Secondary Education.

Chloe Cornell, Science Leader

SAGE Semester 1 Recap

The SAGE program began this year with a one-day workshop facilitated by Young Change Agents, a not-for-profit social enterprise. Students worked collaboratively and used design thinking to identify a problem in the community and develop a solution. Some of the ideas included placing donations bins around the school to collect clothes for charity or to be upcycled and used in Textiles classes, and a COVID-safe and community friendly service that allows everyone to have access to books despite economic or social situation.

Year 7 and 8 SAGE students delved into the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and used what they learnt to formulate a solution to a social, cultural, health or environmental issue. To extend their understanding, students travelled to Scienceworks to view an exhibition on robotics and artificial intelligence where they were able to chat to a robot, test its ability to understand emotion, as well as consider challenging ethical questions about the future of robots.

Year 9 and 10 SAGE students have been using technology creatively to design and code an original video game using microstudio. They have persevered and used their problem-solving skills to continually overcome technical challenges. As part of this project, students participated in a virtual lesson run by a facilitator from ACMI, where they considered the impact of games culturally and socially, as well as issues around representation and accessibility.

In addition to the mentioned challenges, SAGE students have also participated in Minecraft Education’s Hour of Code, in which they used the power of code to bring two villages together in one scenario and to help prevent the spread of fire in another. They have also had the opportunity to participate in the Gifted Awareness Week student competition, where they submitted a written piece on the theme ‘Thriving as Gifted’.

Arina Mizuno, SAGE Leader

Visual Arts Overview

Students at St Aloysius College are fortunate to encounter a breadth of rich and engaging tasks as they experience the Visual Arts from Year 7 to Year 12.

The Year 7s discovered new ways to draw from observation – upside down, ‘blind’ and even draw the space around an object, rather than it being a focus; all to assist students in understanding how to draw more accurately. This was further developed with the exploration and development in both oil pastel drawing and acrylic painting techniques, where colour and tone were the main focus; a tool to create realism and to express ideas in the spirit of the early landscapes of Kandinsky.

Year 8 students were fortunate to explore the art form of ceramics, constructing a glazed pinch pot vessel that was designed with personality and character. They also discovered the unique process of relief printmaking, developing designs inspired by native Australian flora and the works of Australian artist Margaret Preston

Year 9 students have undertaken a series of works that have focussed on using symbols and icons to communicate meaning and ideas in artworks, while also developing specific mark making methods and techniques inspired by assorted Australian artists to depict their own personal story.

Students in year 10 will have their subject matter turned upon oneself, capturing an honest depiction of one’s identity in a photo realistic manner, inspiring students to look beyond the selfie phenomenon. Students will also complete an artwork that captures a sense of place, using acrylic paint. Students will  delve deep as they investigate personal places and spaces that will hold personal, social and/or cultural significance.

In the senior levels, Studio Arts have given students the opportunity to explore, develop, refine, resolve and present artworks in response to an array of personal experiences and viewpoints. 

Maria Cunnington, 

An update on Mathematics

The Mathematics department have been working hard on introducing new concepts and consolidating old.

Year 7 students have had the opportunity to work to their strengths as they begin secondary mathematics.  They have also developed their problem solving and critical thinking skills, through activities such as Folding Paper, Problem Posing, Visual Numbers, and What’s My Pattern?

In Year 8, students build on their knowledge bank and see the effect of their decision making – The Volume of a Lemon, One Two Minute, and patterns in nature.  The students also get to see literacy in mathematics!

Year 9 take some deep dives into functions, graphs, and algebra, using a wide range of platforms to support their learning.

Year 10 began preparing for their VCE pathways, learning about the opportunities that mathematics can bring them, in VCE, university, and beyond!

Our VCE students are committed to their studies, and have been working hard in the outcome assessments in the first semester, in particular applying their mathematical skills to described situations, and building their digital literacy and technology skills.  We look forward supporting these students on their VCE journey!

Hannah Herodotus, Numeracy and Mathematics Learning Leader

Sport & Rowing Recap

A highlight of the semester has been the rowing program at Essendon Rowing Club. 25 students participated in the program which involved training every Tuesday and Thursday throughout term 1 starting at 6am! The crew have worked extremely hard as a team, and we look forward to them competing in regattas in the near future.

The Year 7 cohort have been super impressive in their enthusiasm to get involved and try out new sports. In Term 1, we had a total of 10 Year 7 students participate in our rowing program. Our year 7s also had the privilege of competing for the first time in the Secondary Catholic Sports Association. Sports competed in throughout semester 1 included Swimming (1st), Tennis (5th), Indoor Cricket (4th), Futsal (4th), Badminton (2nd), Athletics (7th) and Basketball (4th). The year 7s have been outstanding with their attitude and commitment to training.

Due to COVID, the Year 8s unfortunately missed out on most sports throughout 2020, so have tackled this semester with gusto! The Year 8 cohort have worked extremely well with the Year 7s and have been equally impressive with their attitude and commitment to training and competition.

Our Year 9 and 10 students had some excellent results this semester. Highlights for included runners up in Tennis and Basketball, and achieving 3rd place in both Swimming and Indoor Cricket.

The Senior Cohorts of Year 11 & 12 are making the most of their final years of schooling by getting involved and setting the example for our younger year levels. Our seniors have been helping out with our juniors by taking training sessions which has been excellent to see. Highlights for our seniors this semester included 2nd in Awimming and Futsal.

Tom Madden, Sports & Rowing Programs Leader

Health & Physical Education

Health and Physical Education

At Year 7, our students began the year with swimming and personal survival. As term one unfolded, the programme evolved to focus on skill development with an introduction to the fundamental skills in volleyball. The Year 7 students have concluded the first half of the year with a focus on gymnastics. The health programme at year 7 has been developed to strengthen the understanding of self with a focus on character, allowing the students to explore some of the critical capabilities of the Victorian Curriculum whilst reflecting on themselves.  

The Year 8 PE programme also began the year with swimming and personal survival. In Health, year 8 students have been examining the influences on the dimensions of health and wellbeing as they question how to achieve optimal health.

The Year 9s began the year with the close examination of the social influences and the topic of alcohol and other drugs. The health programme movedto evaluate nutrition and particularly, the influence of social media on dietary choices. The Physical Education programme develops the core skills of striking and fielding along with net games.

The Year 10 Health Education classes have been focused on global health issues and health promotion, while Sport Development strengthened the understanding of the principles and methods of training along with sport specific excellence.

At the VCE level, students have worked across exercise physiology and human anatomy, skill acquisition, biomechanics and acute physiological effects of exercise. They have been exploring optimal health and well-being on an individual, national and global perspective.

Chris Needle, Associate Director of Learning and Health & PE Learning Leader

Extra, extra-curricular!

In a packed Semester 1 we saw students quite literally kicking goals as they participated in SCSA competitions, while our own interhouse athletics carnival saw students really challenging themselves, with some even smashing their own impressive records. Congratulations to McAuley house on taking out the win!

In addition to sports and athletics pursuits, College students have excelled at interschool debating and chess tournaments, proceeding through to final rounds of each.

Excursions across Semester 1 included ScienceWorks, the Immigration Museum, Luna Park (for physics research, of course!) and Malthouse Theatre.

Our school holiday program, STEMies: Space Cadets saw record turnout with 80 grade 4-6 students in attendance over the Easter holidays. We’re looking forward to STEMies again these holidays, where students will don their lab coats once more as we investigate a crime in STEMies CSI: Curran Street Investigation – there is a very limited number of tickets remaining!

Semester 1 has also seen us welcome more than 300 prospective students and their families through the College for Walk and Talk Tours. It has been wonderful to meet with so many families to be able to share our future plans and hear the questions they have about life at St Aloysius College.

We are delighted to share that Matilda JR, our College Musical will be running from the 22-24 July. Rehearsals are in full swing and it is shaping up to be a truly unforgettable performance. Tickets are on sale now and available here.

Please note that if event restrictions result from public health concerns, tickets will be refunded.

Semester 2 will see the continuing preparation of our staff and student cohort for the first intake of boys in Year 7 2023. Teachers are undergoing workshops, grounds and facilities are being reviewed and adapted, and there is a genuine sense of excitement in the air. We are also very excited to welcome our Year 7 2022 students onto campus across Semester Two for their orientation program.